It typically takes 90 to 120 days for long-term disability (LTD) to start because Ontario’s LTD insurance policies have an elimination period. This is a waiting period that begins on the date the worker first cannot work because of an injury or illness and ends at a set time later. If you receive approval for your long-term care benefits, they may begin as soon as the waiting period is over.
You may be eligible for short-term disability options while you wait for long-term disability benefits to begin.
If your long-term disability insurance carrier denies your claim or there is another hiccup in getting the benefits you need, it may extend how long it takes for your long-term disability to start.
There Is a Waiting Period Before LTD Benefits Begin
Long-term disability benefits policies generally have a waiting period (also called an elimination period or qualifying period) before the benefits begin. There are several purposes for this period, such as:
- It gives your insurance time to review your claim
- It allows doctors to determine if you have a long-term or permanent illness or injury
- It ensures you do not receive long-term benefits while also receiving short-term benefits
The length of the elimination period is a key component of a long-term disability insurance policy, with the most extensive policies generally having shorter wait times. They may vary from 90 days to 120 days or even 180 days in some cases. The policy may also outline when the waiting period begins. This might be either:
- The date you first became unable to work because of your medical condition; or
- The date the doctor said you could not work because of your medical condition.
In some cases, this date is the same. In other cases, there may be a few days or weeks between the two events.
You May Receive Other Benefits During the Waiting Period
If your employer offers long-term disability insurance policy as a group policy, they might also offer paid time off, short-term disability, or other options to bridge the gap until your waiting period ends and your LTD benefits become payable. These short-term benefits may only provide coverage for 12, 16, or 24 weeks, depending on the accompanying long-term disability policy.
If you are self-employed or otherwise do not have employer-sponsored long-term disability coverage, you may still have options for receiving short-term benefits during your elimination period. This may include Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits, which may provide up to 15 weeks of benefits if you qualify.
An LTD Benefits Denial May Delay Your Payments
If you have a long-term disability policy and receive approval for benefits based on your medical condition and other factors, it should become payable as soon as the waiting period specified in the policy ends. However, these insurance carriers often deny claims from workers who need these benefits. It is not uncommon to need to fight for the benefits you need after an illness or injury prevents you from working.
If this happens to you, you may receive a denial notice that outlines why the insurance company denied your claim and other information, including the date of their decision. It is imperative that you keep this notice.
Once you receive a denial notice for your Toronto LTD benefits, we encourage you to contact a long-term disability law firm. They may be able to help you understand what happened and take action if you qualify. Your options may include:
- Filing an internal appeal with the long-term disability insurance carrier
- Filing an external appeal against the carrier and challenging their decision
A long-term disability lawyer may be able to review your policy and help you understand the option that may best suit your case. It is important to act quickly. Under the Limitations Act of 2002, you may only have 24 months from the date on your denial letter to file suit to pursue compensation for the benefits your policy outlines and that your medical condition qualifies you to receive.
Filing an internal appeal or taking other steps to fight the denial does not extend this strict deadline.
Talk to a Member of Our Toronto Long-Term Disability Team
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, our team understands the important role long-term disability benefits play in helping workers make ends meet when they cannot perform their job duties as a result of an injury or illness. Waiting for long-term disability to start can be difficult, and receiving these benefits as soon as possible may be important to maintaining your family’s financial stability. To this end, we may be able to help you fight a denial and recover benefits or compensation if you qualify.
Our lawyers serve clients in Toronto and nearby areas. If you cannot travel to our office, we may be able to come to you in the hospital or your home to discuss your case.
Call Preszler Injury Lawyers now at 1-800-JUSTICE to get started.